Pensioner burns life savings
PYATIGORSK, Russia, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- An elderly Russian man set his apartment on fire to keep his common-law wife from getting his life savings of $100,000, which he had hidden there.
The Interfax news agency reports the man saved the money during three decades that he spent receiving a tiny pension while picking through trash for food. He also reportedly drank heavily.
A police spokesman said firefighters collected almost 50 pounds of scraps of 1,000-ruble and $100 bills from the apartment.
The man reportedly decided to start the fire after a fight with his wife, who did not know about his savings.
Long-distance swimmer conquers Great Lakes
CAPE GARGANTUA, Ontario, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Ultra-marathon swimmer Jim Dreyer stumbled ashore in Canada after swimming more than 50 miles across Lake Superior, the last of the Great Lakes to conquer.
Dreyer completed his epic three-day swim from Whitefish Point, Wis., to Ontario, Canada, late Wednesday night and was so groggy he had to jump back in and swim another 50 feet to his support boat.
The crew wrapped the 41-year-old Michigan long-distance swimmer in a sleeping blanket and gave him oxygen, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday.
Dreyer battled fog, sleep deprivation, hypothermia, 8-foot waves, lightning and high winds on his sixth attempt to swim across Lake Superior, the last and largest of the five Great Lakes he successfully challenger.
Dreyer's swim raised money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and will benefit a memorial to the 30,000 Great Lakes sailors who have lost their lives.
Man spins murder yarn so wife will leave
OCALA, Fla., Aug. 5 (UPI) -- An Ocala, Fla., man wanted his wife to leave him so badly, he fabricated a yarn about having killed a man this week sending police on a wild goose chase.
Teddy Akin, 28, told his wife of killing a hitchhiker Monday morning, and said he had dumped the body in a forest. As soon as she was alone, the woman called Marion County sheriff's deputies.
For more than six hours, investigators and Ocala police combed the area with helicopters and dogs, searching for a body.
Akin was taken into custody, but his story fell apart when he said he had left the body in a gas station parking lot.
Early Tuesday, Akin confessed he simply wanted his wife to leave him, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
He is being held without bail on charges of filing a false report.
Harris lashes out at 2000 make-up jokes
TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Florida's former Secretary of State Katherine Harris lashed out at jokes made about her makeup during the presidential election recount of 2000.
Now a Republican U.S. representative for the Tampa region, Harris, speaking on a conservative radio talk show, ripped unnamed newspapers for publishing photos of her that she said had been "colorized."
At least two Harris news conferences in November 2000, detailing her decision to enforce a deadline and forbid presidential vote recount results, got national TV coverage.
At the time, comic Jay Leno said a cold snap made Florida so chilly Harris "put on a third layer of makeup."
The Tampa Tribune said newspapers and news agencies forbid changing photographic images.
Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia said he blames the jokes on Harris' appearance on television, rather than newspapers.
"I can remember watching her and thinking she learned all the wrong makeup lessons from Al Gore in the debates," Sabato said.